Where is my container, where is my cargo, and where is my coffee?

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Coffee was first discovered by goat herders in the 9th century; since then, the beverage has had a long history of bringing people together with its aroma, energy boost power, and versatility. It began its first appearance in coffeehouses and meeting places in the 17th Century and served as a staple of social and intellectual discourse.

Today, coffee is the 2nd most traded commodity in the world after petroleum! Fast forward to the Digital age of shipment milestones, some of which are stored and managed by TradeLens for ICL Internationale Commodity Logistik GmbH, the logistics company of Neumann Kaffee Gruppe, the world’s leading green coffee service group with over 50 companies in 26 countries. ICL is benefiting immensely from TradeLens. Kay Lohse, Managing Director of ICL said to the TradeLens team, “We have been using other data visibility platforms for years and waiting for something like TradeLens to come along.” 

Grab a cup and take a seat

There was a time when having a cup of coffee involved going for a walk to the corner store to purchase a large coffee bag, later brought home for brewing and when ready, the house would smell of fresh roasted coffee. Today, some households continue this tradition, however, some now enjoy going to specialty coffee shops or large coffee franchises which are now found just around the corner. Roasting coffee at home is no longer a common practice; now, you are most likely meeting at places like Starbucks for a coffee drink. Demand for coffee products both at supermarkets, and coffeeshops has rapidly increased and so has the demand for reliable, multi-sourcing supply chains that can deliver these precious beans to where the consumers prefer them the most.

In the case of ICL, TradeLens is addressing pain points in their inland transportation solutions and safety of data exchange. With TradeLens, ICL has less paperwork and more data accuracy. The customer can simply download their documents in any form making all data information efficient and transparent. The data quality is backed by blockchain technology, ensuring a correct steering process. As Phillipa Fischer-Zernin, Regional TradeLens Expert asserted, “TradeLens offers what the supply chain community is looking for — a shared, secure space, in which all stakeholders can collaborate based on near real-time, quality data. I am happy that ICL’s and TradeLens’ vision is a match, allowing us to serve our customers’ needs.” With the support from TradeLens, ICL is committed to breaking the paper barrier. Moving from original to sea waybills, eliminating the need for courier services for their original documents and saving on predicted courier costs.

A digital space that connects all parties

ICL started using TradeLens in the middle of 2019 and has continued to expand its use of the platform to additional lanes and bringing more local partners onboard. “The best feature of TradeLens is you can bring in your own ecosystems, including, for example your exporter and/or your trucker.” Fischer-Zernin added, “it is a digital space that connects all parties.”

The value of TradeLens seen by partners like ICL is that it offers a missing piece to their supply chain needs. In general, TradeLens links service providers to their supply chain environment, providing visibility of the container transport stage at any given point in the journey, including load and discharge information and customs related events. Export companies now have visibility regardless of Incoterms, including information for their shipment and information flow. This saves them precious time and effort when they don’t have to contact their local carrier, 3PL or search across multiple web pages for information. An example of the TradeLens shipment visibility information can be found below:

TradeLens is becoming the digital platform of choice for customers like ICL, improving their end-to-end visibility and reducing paper-based processes while housing all shipping documents in a convenient way. The end results are experienced by customers, as ease of business across their supply chain and peace of mind when housing their data, all while reducing manual processes. As TradeLens continues to enable the way customers like ICL manage logistics, the next time you walk into your local coffee shop and order your favorite latte, you can now appreciate the logistics and effort behind it.

Neumann Kaffee Gruppe (NKG) is the world’s leading green coffee service group. It consists of more than 50 companies in 26 countries, and each year its more than 2,200 worldwide employees contribute to the movement of approximately 16 million bags of coffee — 10 percent of the global market — to more than 5,000 roaster clients. The group is coordinated by Hamburg, Germany–based Neumann Gruppe GmbH.

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